In 2020

We’ve heard it from most every leading public health official: stay home, stay safe. Yet public protests – increasingly exposed as far from springing from the grassroots – as well as ostensibly religious leaders and conservative activist law firms are fomenting rebellion against lifesaving restrictions on freedom of movement and assembly. This as the US death toll soars past 60,000 souls! This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we’ll look at where some of this defiance is coming from. We’ll also spend time discussing ways to come together across religious divides, and salute a leading NGO for throwing its weight behind ending the destructive practice of “reparative therapy.”

It’s a well-known tenet that while Americans enjoy a number of enumerated rights, these rights also end when they infringe on another’s well-being. Peter Montgomery, senior fellow at People for the American Way, will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to discuss the growing tide of lawsuits demanding houses of worship be exempt from any government oversight – even when the issue is a deadly pandemic – and the anti-gay law firms filing them in the name of “religious liberty.”

With more time at home, many of us are catching up on our book lists. Let’s consider one more. This week, Diane Faires Beadle and Jamie Lynn Haskins — editors of the new book Acting on Faith: Stories of Courage, Activism, and Hope Across Religions — will share with Welton how these stories can help us find meaning and connection in an increasingly polarized world.

Over the past several years, LGBTQI+ activists have led the charge to abolish the dangerous, anti-science practice of conversion therapy. This week, they won the support of a global NGO that threw its expertise behind a bold statement: It’s Torture, Not Therapy. James Lin, Istanbul Protocol Programme coordinator at the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, will join Welton to discuss what led the organization to formally take this stand against the practice.

In this time of social isolation, do you know someone who would benefit from hearing the thoughtful, inclusive conversations we offer? Please share State of Belief with them!

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